Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Bad, The Ugly and The Mediocre

I think 2008 was overall a very good year for music. When I sat down to think of the albums that were complete stinkers I could only think of two. There were also two other albums that I don't think were necessarily bad, but fell short of my expectations.

The Bad and Ugly

1. Thalia - Lunada: Why do I keep buying this woman's shit? I must be a fool for not having learned my lesson. While her last album was repackaged and re-released with some extra songs and remixes that ultimately made it somewhat listenable, "Lunada" has been such a huge flop I don't see that happening again. Thalia sings over tracks that sound like really really bad Kumbia Kings reject tracks or songs that are simply so amateur sounding they sound more appropriate for a night of drunken karaoke at a Mexican tranny bar.

2. Beyonce - I am Sasha Fierce: I don't care how many millions of copies this piece of shit sells. In my opinion the suction sounds of an abortion in progress would be more melodious. The songs on this album are simply a rehashing of her previous material. "Single Ladies" is "Get Me Bodied" all over again (which was "Krazy In Luv Part II" anyways). Her attempt to sing on the rock pop single "If I Were A Boy" is an embarrasing showcase of her lack of vocal range (let's not even mention how she stole this song from an up and coming singer/songwriter). And what pisses me off even more about this album is that in a few months she will re-release it with a bunch of new songs or remixes and I will be suckered into buying just like I did with the B'Day Deluxe Edition. Grrrrr.

The Mediocre

1. Donna Summer - Crayons: I love Donna Summer. However, I have to confess that her comeback album was a little underwhelming. It isn't a bad album, but unlike the B-52's she fails to update her sound accordingly for 2008. Songs like "Mr Music" and "Driving Down Brazil" are simply embarrassing with cringe worthy lyrics ("I got mah iPod!"). Oh dear. The dance songs, something Ms. Summer is known for, fall flat and come across more like upbeat elevator music. Thank god for the remixes. Despite those bad moments, the album is sprinkled with a few gems worth mentioning. "Stamp Your Feet" and "The Queen Is Back" have the same sort of spunk and feist Donna's older records have. Some of the slower tunes work very well, showcasing Donna's vocal talents that don't seem to have diminished one bit over the years. "Crayons" is just that. There are some icky colors mixed in with the really pretty ones but overall it's not that bad of an album.

2. Cyndi Lauper - Bring Ya To The Brink: Cyndi Flopper seems to fall into the same trap Donna does. This dance album fails to deliver dance music....well, at least dance music that one would dance to in 2008. Songs like "High And Mighty" and "Echo" have a promising start but fail to ever go anywhere. "Same Ol' Story", "Give It Up" and "Set Your Heart" seem to be stuck in a really bad 1990's time warp. I almost expected a guest rap appearance by Ya Kid K or Freedom Williams. All hope is not lost though. "Into The Night Life" is one moment of dancefloor brilliance. Ironically, where Cyndi tends to shine (pun intended) the most are on the less dancey songs. "Rain On Me" could give any of her 80's ballads a run for its money. It is simply lush. While "Rocking Chair" brings out Cyndi's zany side that has always made her the anti-pop star while "Grab A Hold" is easily the best song she has recorded since the 80's. This album doesn't bring anything to the brink but it has some great moments!


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